by Pam Zubeck
In our Oct. 14 letter to the Mayor regarding the 2014 Budget and budget process, Council stated the following regarding stormwater:
1. Council will be proposing a Stormwater appropriation department dedicated to stormwater operations and maintenance.
2. Council will be proposing a supplemental budget appropriation ordinance out of the 2013 fund balance of $2 million dollars to the Stormwater appropriation department to begin work during this fiscal year on some of the stormwater issues from the 2013 summer flood.
We’d like to clarify that Council is not endorsing the creation of a physical department nor do we have plans to expand city government. We are advocating for the creation of a “virtual” department, or more accurately, a stormwater appropriations or dedicated funding source. This virtual department is strictly an accounting mechanism to inform citizens of how much revenue we are allocating to stormwater and ensures that the funds are solely dedicated to stormwater.
We must commit money from of our general fund for operation and maintenance; we must show our citizens we are serious about addressing the stormwater drainage issues; we must show our friends in Pueblo that we are resolute about how much we are spending; and most importantly, we must make sure, as Council, that we can audit the numbers and prove our expenditures to the citizens.
This “virtual” department or appropriations will give us a baseline to start from. We look forward to working with the Mayor to find funding for operation and maintenance out of the general fund to fulfill our city responsibilities.